Element Confusion

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clw_uk
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Element Confusion

Post by clw_uk » Mon Jan 19, 2009 10:10 pm

In the Mahapunnama Sutta - MK the buddha says;

"The four great elements, bhikkhu, are the cause and condition for the manifestation of the material form aggregate"

I cant work out how the elements are the cause for the material form, arent the four elements earth, fire, wind, water with, for example, earth just standing for skin, nail etc and so just characteristics of the material aggregate?
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retrofuturist
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Re: Element Confusion

Post by retrofuturist » Mon Jan 19, 2009 10:54 pm

Greetings,

From memory, I think earth refers to solidity, water refers to cohesion, fire refers to heat, and air refers to movement.

Metta,
Retro. :)
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Dhammanando
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Re: Element Confusion

Post by Dhammanando » Mon Jan 19, 2009 11:20 pm

Hi Craig,
clw_uk wrote:I cant work out how the elements are the cause for the material form
Each of the four great primaries serves as a condition for the arising of the others and collectively they are a condition for the arising of secondary/derivative materiality (e.g., sense organs, gender, life faculty etc.).

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu

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clw_uk
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Re: Element Confusion

Post by clw_uk » Mon Jan 19, 2009 11:20 pm

Thank you, do you know how they are the origin of material aggregate?
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Re: Element Confusion

Post by Dhammanando » Mon Jan 19, 2009 11:57 pm

Hi Craig,
clw_uk wrote:Thank you, do you know how they are the origin of material aggregate?
The material aggregate is simply a name for the four great primaries and the secondary matter that arises with the great primaries as its proximate cause.

For a full account of rūpa see chapter 6 of the Abhidhammatthsangaha:
http://mail.saigon.com/~anson/ebud/abhisgho/abhis06.htm

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu

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